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Here and There: 1.27.11

Random musings about the week’s most interesting travel articles… Wanna fly on a private jet? Well, if you have $1000 to spare, now you can. (Jaunted)  The happiness continues for the rescued Chilean Miners. They’re heading to Disney World! (Huffington Post) Do you want to travel the world for 80 days for free? Silly question… of […]

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Snapshot of the Week: New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula

Everyone knows that adventure sports are all the rage in New Zealand. But sometimes, life is best lived at a slower pace. Kayaking to Hahei’s spectacular Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula is the perfect balance of both. ***To contribute to the “Snapshot of the Week” feature, please review the submission details and email chris@packedsuitcase.com […]

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My Top 10 Travel Destinations of 2010

2010 turned out to be an incredibly liberating travel year for me. With a brief stint of unemployment came a robust time of opportunity, full of adventures and exciting destinations. Here are my top 10 places that I visited in the past 12 months… 10. Taupo,New Zealand Taupo itself isn’t the most notable place in […]

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Grand Canyon: A Hike to Phantom Ranch

I can officially say that I hiked the bottom of the Grand Canyon. BACKGROUND After 13 months of planning, countless “prep” hikes, two flights and a 4 hour drive, we finally arrived to the Bright Angel trail head on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I have to say that when I finally stood […]

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A Hike on Franz Josef Glacier

The quest to complete my 55 Places continues…  During my month-long trip to New Zealand, I was able to cross off my bucket list item #25, “Try not to lose my footing on a glacier”, at Franz Josef Glacier on the west coast of the South Island. I had been fortunate for the weeks leading […]

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New Zealand… there and back again

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve really yearned for some tangible time off to travel. One or two weeks just doesn’t always cut it, especially if you want to go far, but quitting your job for the sake of travel never made much sense to me either (especially since I graduated early from […]

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Hiking on Franz Josef Glacier

After my fantastic relaxing break in the fall-drenched Queenstown, I was rested and off to complete the last leg of my journey. I took the InterCity bus from Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier, an 8 hour bus ride that could have easily been done in 6 hours (because they stopped every hour so people could […]

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An Ode to Hiking

Every summer when I was growing up, my parents would dutifully take me on trips to some of America’s finest national parks. Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Glacier, the Grand Tetons, Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park… We’d go for two weeks and try to explore as much as possible, having fun as a family along the […]

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One heck of a day…

If you know me, you know I tend to stay on the safe side of the street; I don’t really seek out danger or adventure. But something has gotten into me, and I’ve fully embraced the adrenaline-filled activities that New Zealand is known for. Last Sunday, I went whitewater rafting and then I jumped out […]

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Highlights: Auckland to Taupo

Day 1 – Auckland to Hahei Leaving Auckland we stopped at Mount Eden, a dormant volcano, for views of the city and the famous nearby Rugby stadium. We traveled through the Coromandel Peninsula to Hahei, a beach town most notable for its spectacular Cathedral Cove. As we made the drive to Hahei, I realized that […]

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Gone A-STRAY On New Zealand’s North Island

New Zealand is a country that’s known for being overwhelmingly welcoming to backpackers. With so many young people on their year-long sabbatical to Australia (aided by a working visa so they can work at orchards and farms or the random odd-job to further fund their travels) New Zealand is frequently a starting or ending point […]

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Perfect day on Waiheke Island

I’ll just go ahead and say it – I wasn’t looking forward to visiting Auckland. It’s the biggest city in the country and I’ve made my pilgrimage here to New Zealand for the beautiful scenery and the feeling of being isolated in the wilderness. For me, Auckland was merely a place to pass through before […]

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